Product management

What is a product management?

A product management is in most cases part of an invoicing or merchandise management system and serves to store and manage products and services. In this context, the term article master is often used, because the products stored in an article management system can be inserted as items in invoices and other documents.

Administration of suppliers

In a good article administration several suppliers can be stored per article, in order to realize flexible sources of supply and to be able to determine the most favorable purchase price in each case. Suppliers are usually stored in a connected CRM system.

Price groups and special prices

Price groups in an article administrationIn order to be able to use sales prices customer-related, an article administration should support the creation of price groups and graduated prices. For each article any number of price groups with any number of price scales can be created. If a price group that is available in the desired article is set in a document, the document does not contain the standard price of the article, but the price that was preset in the corresponding price group. It should also be possible to preset a price group in the customer within CRM in order to automatically insert customer-related prices in the billing process.

Management of the stock

A good article management system not only stores the master data of an article, but also manages the inventory, ideally also at several warehouse locations. It should be possible to indicate in the individual product whether the product should be automatically booked into the warehouse stock or not, because for example service articles are usually not booked into the warehouse stock. With regard to the warehouse stock, the article management should keep a log with all stock entries in order to be able to track goods movements even afterwards.

In addition to the warehouse stock, an article management system should also support the specification of a minimum stock level. If the entered minimum stock level is not reached, a corresponding message is displayed or the article is shown in a list of all articles with a minimum stock level below.

Article variants and attributes

For configuration items, an item management system should offer the possibility to enter corresponding variants or, for example, item attributes for each product. An article attribute contains an article option with the corresponding option value, the stock level, the excess or short weight and the excess or short price.

Barcode and EAN code

Barcode in an article administrationFor the labeling of articles an article administration should be able to generate barcodes and if necessary also the EAN13 barcode for each article. This way, for example, labels and product lists can be provided with barcodes or EAN13 codes directly from the article management, so that the articles can be scanned later.

Connection to online shops

In times of the digital lifestyle, an article management system should also have a connection to an online store in order to be able to compare article data and stock with the online store.

Part lists for product configurations

For product configurations and production articles, it should be possible to manage bills of material for each article. Each item that is in a bill of materials of an item is automatically additionally posted from the warehouse stock when the corresponding master item is posted on a document. Some item management systems also support combination items, where each linked item on a document is automatically added to the master item.

Batch management for the tracking of articles

With a batch management system, each item can be tracked from purchase to sale. In addition to information on the supplier and carrier, a batch also contains an optional expiry date for each article. The expiration date is thus also available in all documents, so that the expiration

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About Author

Markus Schall
Development of FileMaker databases since 1994, modification and extension of FileMaker solutions, conversion of FileMaker databases from .fm, .fp3, .fp5 (FileMaker 2-6) or .fp7 (FileMaker 7-11) to .fmp12 (FileMaker 12-17), interfaces to third-party systems such as online shops, CMS or other databases. Development of individual FileMaker database systems based on the gFM business framework with personal advice from Oldenburg. Operator of the online specialist portal goFileMaker.de, developer of the CRM and merchandise management system gFM-Business. Member of FileMaker Business Alliance, FileMaker Developers Subscription and FMM Expert. Winner of an FMM Award 2011, awarded by the FileMaker Magazine.